Women of Valor


Lamp Shades and Ribbon

Bobbie Rosenfeld, 1904 - 1969

While Rosenfeld may have been Canada's most famous female athlete in her day, she still needed to work at the Patterson Chocolate Factory to pay her bills. As her sister commented, "If Bobbie were alive today she'd be a millionaire, with all the endorsements athletes have now. Instead she had lots of hatboxes. Not luggage. Hatboxes.

Rosenfeld looked back on this fact with humor. "We gals were babes in the wood then and clung to that old cliche about sports for sports sake," she wrote in 1950. "After I came back from the Olympics, Dr. Saul Simon decided to arrange a series of exhibition races.... My first race was in my hometown of Barrie. When I arrived...the officials were most apologetic. No girl racers had answered the challenge, but would I run against the boys? I did, and won with the help of a three-yard handicap. My prize—a lamp shade and a yard of moire ribbon. I shuddered at the thought of collecting, maybe, another half dozen lamp shades and yards more of moire, so right there and then I persuaded the doc to cancel the rest of the tour."

  1. Bobbie Rosenfeld, "Fanny Harks Back to the Golden 20’s," Globe and Mail 27 Dec 1950.
  2. Ethel Berman quoted in Paul Patton, "Rosenfeld’s Feats," Globe and Mail 15 June 1987.
  3. Bobbie Rosenfeld, "Feminine Sports Reel," Globe and Mail 13 July 1940.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Bobbie Rosenfeld - Lamp Shades and Ribbon." (Viewed on April 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/rosenfeld/lamp-shades-and-ribbon>.